Last September, the walkabout crew took a multi-day trip to Northern Victoria to see if the hype about Rutherglen fortified wine was justified (it was, and then some). Along the way, we chose to spend some time in the King Valley and Glenrowan and it was during this part of the trip that we discovered Baileys Petite Sirah (yes, we had to check the spelling as well!)
Baileys makes some really good value for money fortified wines, but what really impressed us were two of their red table wines. Funnily enough, both were Durif grapes. The wine named Durif on the label had been matured in American oak barrels while the Petite Sirah had been matured in French oak. We found this a bit confusing, as Durif is the French name for the grape whereas it is often called Petit Syrah in America.
Confusion aside, we really liked this wine. As a group we needed assistance bringing the wine we purchased to our vehicles but thankfully the Baileys staff had trolleys (we were probably not the first visitors to give their wine a big thumbs up for price and quality).
Being a 2013 vintage, this wine was stood upright for 48 hours and then carefully decanted 1 hour before service.
In terms of sight, the wine is red-black. Some Durifs can be purple-black in colour, but this is a very clear red edge in the deep and dark blackness that is Durif in a glass. Viscosity and brilliance are exceptional as always and clarity is almost impossible to determine with a normal serving size.
In terms of bouquet or nose, this wine is actually a bit of a dissapointment. It is recognisable as a Durif, but the intensity is not really there. No obvious faults in the process, but the intensity is not quite there either.
From the first sip, the complexity of this wine is immediate with excellent tannin structure and a slightly sweet finish which really adds to the experience; even if the length is a bit on the short side compared to other premium Durif wines.
Our Verdict: This is an excellent wine with very good complexity and reasonable length. There are some better Durif wines made in the region but this wine is still very pleasant to drink. Very good value for money and will probably keep for quite a few more years. Highly recommended.